What separates a good pitch from a truly magnificent one? That’s right, a very timely angle. In this four-week course, you’ll learn how to make your writing stand out thanks to unique, relevant, and innovative ideas. It will help you respond to everyone’s thoughts, worries, and interests and take them to the next level.
Instructor Flora Tsapovsky has built her journalism portfolio on extremely timely pieces; ranting about that thing everyone secretly hates, and celebrating personalities and ingredients on the rise. She also covers emerging trends that define — or will soon define — the way we live, dress, and communicate. Her class will help make your work more timely and relevant too. You’ll gain tools to unearth trends, micro-trends, and pre-trends. You’ll learn how to turn discoveries and realizations into urgent, captivating pitches. And you’ll refine your ability to capitalize on existing fads, conversations, and movements by offering your own, singular perspective. By the end of the course, you’ll see the world around you as a multi-dimensional, lively place full of ideas ripe for the picking.
This class is suitable for experienced writers who want to sharpen their trend-spotting skillset. Timely Angles for Freelancers can also benefit emerging writers who want to learn how to find ideas that speak to audiences and editors.
Are you ready to start developing irresistible, ahead-of-the-curve ideas? Sign up now!
TIMELY ANGLES FOR FREELANCERS CURRICULUM
Please note: This course has written lectures, feedback, and chat forums. Students are not required to be on the classroom site at fixed times.
Week One: Developing “Timely Listening”
To start, we’ll discuss what timely angles are. We’ll learn how to read the media, social media, and your environment with the goal of picking on timely trends, conversations, and buzzy topics. We will develop tools and sources geared towards finding angles that are very of-the-moment.
Assignment: list five timely topics the media currently can’t get enough— in food, culture, style, or travel. How did you solidify them? (max 500 words)
Week Two: From Timely Listening to Pitches
We’ll mold our timely angles into precise pitches, approaching them from two sides; putting our spin on an existing trend, or coming up with a trending topic of our own.
Assignment: submit two concrete pitches using timely angles (max 700 words)
Week Three: Crafting a Timely Story
It’s time to write! We will discuss what elements make for great coverage tapping into the zeitgeist. Learn how to anchor your stories in the current social climate, and look up-close at stylistic choices that make a story sound and feel urgent.
Assignment: first draft (max 1,000 words)
Week Four: Getting Ahead of the Curve
Finally, we will look ahead and learn how to predict the next hot topic. We will touch upon trend forecasting and talk about establishing yourself as a writer with sharp timely instincts.
Assignment: second draft (max 1,000 words)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where are the classes held?
We’ll be working on Google Classroom, a browser-based teaching platform. This allows files to be shared easily, without cluttering your inbox, and gives you classroom access from any net-wired terminal, anywhere in the world. But you’ll still have options to push alerts to email, if that appeals.
When does the bell ring?
Never! Go online whenever you please — the classroom is open 24/7.
Is there a video component or live chat?
No. The lectures, feedback and chat forums are all done in writing, so we can accommodate students traveling and living in many different time zones.
What if I write in another genre than the instructor?
No problem at all. This workshop explores the best practices of trend-spotting and pitching, which are universal across journalism.
Is the course suitable for experienced writers?
Can unpublished or emerging writers benefit from this workshop?
Absolutely. Finding timely angles for pitches is one of the cornerstones of becoming a successful writer.
How much time does it take?
The time commitment varies, of course, but students average 30-60 minutes to read the lecture and at least 60-90 for the assignments, plus another half hour for peer feedback. So plan for a minimum of two to three hours each week.
Ambitious readers can delve deep via links and articles: some study is self-guided and entirely optional.
Would this class help a writer who’s not sure they want to publish?
If you’re interested in expanding your horizons and examining the world around you with curiosity and storytelling in mind, for whatever purpose, this course will benefit you.
What stops other writers from stealing my ideas?
The world teems with story concepts and writers often stumble across the same ones: overlap tends to be coincidence, not theft. But this workshop will inoculate you, by focusing on the stories you’re most suited to tell, and digging deep for original angles, access, and sources to make them shine. Between your unique take — and the 10,000-odd English-language publications worldwide — there’s plenty of room at the table.
What if I have another question?
Please ask us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Nenad Stojkovic, CC BY 2.0